[eDebate] Debating debate

David Glass gacggc
Tue Nov 13 03:19:41 CST 2007


The fact that such a round took place, when the Resolution on the table
involves what the United States's posture should be in the Middle East,
a place where we have recently started two wars, and are threatening to
start a third, is a good metaphor for how the Left has lost its way, and how
the Right managed to take over the governing process over the last 25 years.

If you refuse to engage in the problems of the day and offer a real
alternative,
you literally give up the game, and clear the field for those willing to
engage - and,
as Cheney and his friends have shown to great effect, engage they will.

So I have no respect whatsoever for such a result, and feel that those who
waste an opportunity to show a better way forward are in fact complicit with
those
who push a worse way forward.

This is without even starting on the implications for how such a distortion
of the debate process
destroys the activity...

David Glass

On 11/11/07, Brian Huot <brian.huot at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> In round 6 of the Shirley Classic at Wake Forest, Leon and Phil from
> Illinois and Brian and Rosie from Louisville, as well as Beth Skinner
> from Towson reached an agreement not to participate and legitimize the
> dominant structures of debate. Both teams and the judge agreed to
> either a double win or double loss ? that neither team deserved to
> solely lose because of the fundamental inequalities in today's debate
> community.  The tab room at Wake Forest was understanding of our
> concerns and responded with a positive attitude.  However, they were
> obligated to decide the round for pairing reasons and did so with a
> coin flip.
>
> Among the inequalities:
>
> ?       Stylistic marginalization:  This community is accepting of judges'
> ability to vote against dropped arguments presented in a traditional
> style ? usually with cards only, while ignoring when the stylistic
> majority drops arguments presented in the non-traditional manner.
> Sometimes this is intentional, sometimes it's not ? judges often don't
> feel that they know how to evaluate those drops. We must find ways to
> evaluate these differences equally, beyond the acknowledgement of a
> speaker's singing skill, ignoring the argument within.
>
> ?       Financial inequalities:  This community privileges the larger,
> more
> expensive tournaments. The institutions with more money are then able
> to compete more at these tournaments, and gain the prestige that comes
> with hosting these tournaments. We find also that there is often a
> direct correlation between available finances and team success ? such
> as Northwestern and Wake Forest, among others.  This creates an
> educational disparity at the point where these teams are able to hire
> more coaches and assistants to cut cards ? debaters are functionally
> turned into machines.  In addition, the debate experience at these
> places is much different than one found at a smaller or less
> prestigious debate program, who have to deal with tenuous budgets and
> lack of resources ? affecting the feelings of comfort and security.
>
> These are clearly not all of the inequalities within this debate
> community. However, we believe that these, along with other
> inequalities, highlight the necessity for change and a global
> harassment policy.
>
> We send this e-mail as an attempt to garner the support, feedback, and
> criticism of the entirety of this community. We stress, though, that
> this criticism must not extend to collective punishment of coaches,
> debaters, and/or affiliates of our respective schools. We all accept
> personal responsibility for this choice.
>
> Brian Huot
> Rosie Washington
> Beth Skinner
> Phil Hoffman
> Leon Eydelman
> _______________________________________________
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>
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